Horse Protection Society of North Carolina Inc.

Riding a Horse

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"Riding is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire.  It is a grand passion."   By Ralph Waldo Emerson

All horse tack must be thoroughly cleaned ONCE A MONTH.  Bridles and saddle leathers are to be taken apart and cleaned.  Both sides of the leather pieces are to be cleaned and oiled.  The synthetic saddles need to be whipped down with a mild soap and water and rinsed well.
Carefully check your saddle and bridle for proper fit.  Make sure screws are tight, ties are tight, and that there is no undue wear that could cause tearing or breaking of the equipment.  You are responsible for the equipment and replacement of damaged items.
The horse should be groomed thoroughly before being saddled!  Pay careful attention to the saddle area, as this is the most important part.  You do not want anything irritating the horse while it is under saddle.  Brush the saddle blanket and cinch; there should not be a build up of dirt on either of these.
Two bit warmers have been provided for your use during the winter months.  Start with the toe and wrap the bit warmer around the bit.  Remove the battery at once when the bit is warm.  Return the warmer and battery to its proper place.  As the batteries wear out, please replace them.  You may also choose to warm the bit by holding it in your hands and rubbing it for several minutes, or by placing it under your clothes, against your body where it will be warmed by your own body heat.
Always take great care when cinching the horse.  This is to be done in three steps!  The first time is when you initially buckle the cinch, the second time after you have put on the bit and bridle, and lastly,  walk your horse out and right before you are ready to mount the horse tighten to the correct tightness.  The cinch is never to be over tightened or is the horse to be poked or hit in the belly!  Before moving the horse to more than a walk, check the cinch again and tighten if necessary.  You should be able to slip your hand under the cinch.  If you cannot, then the cinch is too tight!
All horses are to be ridden at a walk for at least 15 to 20 minutes before any other gait is to be done.  During cold weather, it will take longer to warm up the horse's muscles.
Under no circumstances is a horse to ever be worked so hard that they become overheated.  Pay close attention and note breathing and heat of the horse at all times.  No riding allowed when temperature exceeds 90 degrees.
No new rider is to ever do any other gait, other than a walk, until Joanie gives permission.
All horses that show any signs of sweat must be walked and cooled down.  Signs of sweat include but are not limited to dampness below the saddle blanket line, behind the legs, and/or the chest.  UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD A HORSE BE WORKED UNTIL HE IS FROTHY!!!  All horses are to be brushed and hooves picked before they are returned to the field.
Before returning any tack to its rack, wipe off all mud or dirt.  Thoroughly wipe off the bit with a dry cloth.  Make sure all leather is dry, and brush the saddle blanket.  Lay the cinch across the saddle, wet side up; the same applies for the saddle blanket.  The cinch strap should be through the ring and not draping or wrapped around the saddle.  Double it over and pull it from the back of the ring through the front of the ring.

Approaching a Horse

Leading a Horse

Feeding a Horse Treats

Caring for a Horse

Cleaning After a Horse

Grooming a Horse

Using Tack Room Equipment

Other Residents


Horse Protection Society of NC
2135 Miller Rd,  China Grove, NC  28023
(704) 855-2978
501(c)3 Nonprofit